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How the Obama administration helped us win the Golinski case

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See, isn't is so much more fun when we all play together nicely :)  From Chris Geidner at Metro Weekly:

On July 1, 2011, the arguments sketched out in Holder's six-page letter were expanded to a 31-page filing in Golinski's case that laid out, in expansive terms, the U.S. government's "significant and regrettable role" in discrimination in America against gays and lesbians.

The filing did more than simply acknowledge the federal government's role in discrimination, it explained precisely what the federal government had done. Detailing specific instances of anti-gay and anti-lesbian discrimination, the brief described the 1950 Senate resolution seeking an "investigation" into "homosexuals and other sexual perverts" in government employment and President Dwight Eisenhower's executive order adding "sexual perversion" as a ground for "possible dismissal from government service." It also went on to detail the role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Service in investigations seeking information about government employees suspected of such "perversion."

When oral arguments were held on Dec. 16, 2011, on the arguments advanced by Golinski, the Department of Justice and BLAG in her case, DOJ sent the head of the civil division, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, to argue its position. It was, a DOJ spokesperson said at the time, only the second time that West appeared in court as assistant attorney general to argue a case.
This is what we've been talking about for several years nows - the ability of the administration to do more. They kept saying no, but we kept asking "why not?" Far too many times "the lawyers" will say, when they're really not giving a legal reason why not. Usually they'll giving a political reason, which isn't their job. The lawyers work for the administration, and not the other way around. Of course, no one wants to break the law, but when the lawyers are giving political advice they're not talking about law-breaking. And when that happens, sometimes they need to be ignored.

This is a very good outcome.

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